Ibrahim bin Abbas has reported that the conversations of Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Reza (A.S.) and the examples he (A.S.) gave were all based upon the teachings of the Holy Quran. Imam (A.S.) used to complete the recitation of the Holy Quran in every three days time and has also said, �If I wish, I can complete the recitation of the Holy Quran in less than three days. However, I do not recite any verse except that I ponder over its in-depth meanings and see as to when and why that verse was revealed? It is for this reason that I complete the recitation of the Quran in three days time�. (�Uyoon Akhbar ar-Reza)
Raja bin Abi al-Dhahhak has narrated that when Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Reza (A.S.) was travelling to Khurasan, he (A.S.) continuously engaged himself in the recitation of the Holy Quran throughout the journey. Whenever the Imam (A.S.) came across verses, which talked about Paradise or Hell-fire, he (A.S.) paused and wept; and then either prayed to Allah (SWT) for attaining success in Paradise or sought His protection from Hell-fire. And whenever the Imam (A.S.) said his prayer, during day or night, he (A.S.) recited Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem loudly. (�Uyoon Akhbaar ar-Reza)
Di�bal Khuzaa�ee was a great poet of Ahlul-Bayt (A.S.) in the days of Imam ar-Reza (A.S.). It is reported that he visited the Imam (A.S.) with his brother Abul-Hasan and stayed near him for two years. Thereafter, as Di�bal was preparing to depart for Qum, Imam (A.S.) presented him with a shirt, some Razawi dirhams and a silver ring that contained the stone of �Aqeeq (agate). Imam (A.S.) said, �O Di�bal! You are going to Qum and these dirhams will be of help to you. Take care of the shirt, which I have given to you because I have prayed 1000 units of prayers in 1000 nights wearing this (same) shirt and I have also completed recitation of the Holy Quran 1000 times in it�. (Aamaali of Shaykh al-Toosi)
Ma�mar bin Jallaad has reported that whenever Imam ar-Reza (A.S.) sat to eat, a big plate was placed before him. He (A.S.) would look towards the best of the dishes and pick little from each and put in his plate. He (A.S.) would then instruct that the plate is taken and the food is distributed among the poor and needy. He (A.S.) would then recite: �Yet he has not embarked upon the uphill task�. (90:11) And say: �Allah (SWT) is aware that not every person has the power of freeing a slave therefore He (SWT) has guided them to ways that lead to Paradise�. (Bihar al-Anwaar)
There is a very good but difficult act, which Allah (SWT) has considered it as a way of expressing His gratitude and that act is of freeing a slave. He (SWT) says:
�Yet he has not embarked upon the uphill task. And what will show you what is the uphill task? (It is) freeing of a slave, or feeding (the needy) on a day of starvation�� (90:11-14)
It is for this reason that Imam (A.S.) mentioned about freeing of a slave, as a difficult act for some therefore such people should then resort to feeding the needy.